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Report: Nuggets looking to buy ahead of trade deadline

Nuggets star Nikola Jokic

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 13: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets exits the arena after a game against the Portland Trail Blazers on January 13, 2022 at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

The Nuggets have a championship-caliber roster.

But Denver is far from a contender in its current state.

Michael Porter Jr. suffered a possibly season-ending injury. Who knows how long Jamal Murray, who remains sidelined after a torn ACL, will take to return to form? Role players P.J. Dozier and Vlatko Cancar are also out long-term.

Nuggets coach Michael Malone blasted his team in about the harshest terms you’ll hear after it blew a 25-point lead to the Clippers on Tuesday in L.A. “I think today’s NBA player, they’re worrying about where they’re going out tonight,” Malone said. "…We had a lot of guys running away from the ball in big moments.”

Denver won its next game by 32 (over the Trail Blazers).

All these conflicting statuses and results leave questions as the trade deadline approaches. Will the Nuggets (21-19, sixth in the Western Conference) try to maximize this season of Nikola Jokic’s prime or deal older rotation players for assets that can help when the roster is ideally healthier in future years?

Mike Singer of The Denver Post:

Amid mounting injuries, the Denver Nuggets are actively searching for ways to improve their roster ahead of the trade deadline, two sources told The Denver Post.

With long-term injuries to both Michael Porter Jr. and P.J. Dozier, the Nuggets’ primary target is a wing, one source said.

In addition to a wing, the Nuggets are also searching for a true backup center to combat opponents who play big, sources said.

We’ll see what the Nuggets actually pull the trigger on. They could just be gauging the cost of adding immediate help. Perhaps, they’re also exploring selling – just without that leaking.

But this like a fairly strong clue of Denver’s intentions.